Need a new job in the New Year?
As we head helter skelter towards the end of the year, now is a great time to have a think about your work and career plans for 2017 and beyond. Has 2016 been a professionally successful year for you? Have you enjoyed your workplace and found your colleagues to be inspiring. Are you looking for a new challenge or is it time to undertake further study?

Early childhood education and care is an endlessly rewarding, dynamic and challenging sector to work in and it's worth taking stock every year or so to assess how you are tracking and whether you are achieving what you want. is Australia's only dedicated jobs board for the early childhood education and care sector and as such is the ideal place to start searching for your next professional role. However, before you start searching for and applying for jobs, it's worthwhile spending some time polishing up your resume to ensure you put your best foot forward.

This article is sponsored by and will help you develop a killer resume to ensure you make a great first impression with the employer you want to work for.

Most people dread the thought of putting together their resume, or refreshing it after new training, qualifications or work experience. However, if you view your resume as your one and only ticket to an interview then it should motivate you to spend some time making it look great and read even better.

Many employers recruiting new staff perform an initial cull of all the resumes they receive, which means your resume must catch a recruiter's eye very quickly.

Our tips will help to ensure your resume has the best possible chance of winning you an interview and the opportunity to impress a prospective employer in person:

General resume rules:
  • Aim to be clear and concise, you need to prove to your employer that you have the skills, experience and abilities to do the job and make it easy for him/her to contact you.
  • Use bullet points and lots of white space, remember the person reading your resume has probably read many others that day and making the job easier for them may improve your chances of winning an interview.
  • Use action words and positive language. Using words which describe the actions you took and the outcomes you achieved in your last job will catch the recruiter's eye. For example:
    • Provided high quality care for three children under five for two working parents
    • Used my child care training to provide stimulating and educational activities for the children on a daily basis

  • Highlight your strengths; your employer wants to find out what unique skills, experience and talents you can bring to the workplace. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, list your strengths then explain how you achieved them, for example:
    • Excellent communication skills gained through five years of working in homes with children and their parents
    • Highly developed time management and organisational skills achieved through working in constantly changing child care environments which need to adapt to the needs of the children
  • Match words used in your resume to words used in the job description. Have a close look at the job description and borrow some of the words for use in your resume. These words will catch the recruiter's eye and will make your resume stand out.
  • Leave out personal details such as your age, health, marital status, ethnicity, hobbies etc. These are irrelevant and may be used against you.

As mentioned above it is extremely important to make your resume clear, concise and easy to read.

There are many different ways to layout the details and the way you choose should depend on the information you are trying to highlight and your professional experience to date.
  • Regardless of which format you choose, your name and contact information should be the first things the recruiter reads. Your details should be centred on the page and should include your full name, mobile and home numbers, address and your email address. It is preferable to use a personal email address rather than a work address but avoid using an email address with a strange nickname.
  • Some people like to put a career objective after their contact details. This isn't necessary but if it is something you would like to include write your objective in a way that describes what you can for your employer in return for achieving your goals. For example:

    To work in a dynamic child care environment where I can use my skills and experience to further shared goals and gain on-the-job training.

  • The next section should describe in detail your professional experience. As a general rule you should try and put more information about your responsibilities and achievements in your current/most recent job than previous jobs.

    The exception to this rule is when your most recent job was away from the field you usually work in. In this case you should pad out the information provided on previous jobs which provided skills and experience directly relevant to the position you are currently applying for.
  • Have a think about whether the title of the job you held or the place where you worked is more important for the position you are currently applying. This should help you decide the order of information in your professional experience section for example:

    Live-in Nanny Smith family 2000-current

    Star Child Care Centre Child care assistant 2000-current

  • Describe your key tasks and responsibilities, make sure you highlight your accomplishments and describe how your contributions improved your workplace and helped achieve the objectives of your employer. Use positive language and action words and if possible quantify your key achievements so the recruiter can see exactly what changes and improvements you helped to bring about.
  • Information on qualifications and additional training courses should come next. If you completed your training a long time ago it is not necessary to provide a lot of detail in this section, however, if you are hoping your qualification will help you secure the job and you don't have much work experience then it would be worth describing the course and the subjects you completed.
  • It is becoming less common to provide written references in resumes these days and most recruiters seem to prefer to speak to former employers directly. If you are not comfortable listing the contact details for your referees it is perfectly acceptable to include a statement along the lines of:

    Contact details for references available on request.

    Make sure you contact your referees prior to handing out their details and make sure you give them an overview of the position you are applying for so they can provide information relevant to that job.

One size does not fit all when it comes to resumes. Expect to tweak, rewrite and refresh your resume for each job you apply for.

A resume written on zany paper with a crazy font is likely to stand out: You're right it is but for all the wrong reasons. Employers prefer plain white paper with a clear font which can be easily read, copied and scanned.

Less is more. Your resume is your personal marketing document not your life story. Stick to the facts, make it relevant and keep it up-to-date If you are on LinkedIn be sure to maintain consistency between your on line profile and the version you supply a prospective employer. Most recruiters look a candidate’s details up online and information that doesn’t match up may raise red flags.

Make sure you visit and register to receive access to all the best jobs in the Australian early childhood sector along with a stack of useful articles and resources.
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